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CCRW

Ssm And Byu Tax Exempt

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Would this only apply to federal taxes? Each state taxes churches and their entities differently. 

Would you elaborate?  It has been my experience that the states follow federal reg on this.

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Would this only apply to federal taxes? Each state taxes churches and their entities differently.

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lvjd66 statements about taxation and relgious freedom are not supported by case law. Tax exempt status is not an unfettered right; the Bob Jones case settled that.

What needs to done is to justify tax exempt status even though a tax exempt org may have policies that are not fully supported by the general public

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I make payments for a Church entity  in Idaho. We pay taxes.   When registering a church vehicle we pay sales tax on that vehicle. When we buy we pay sales tax on everything that is normally taxed in idaho.  I know in Utah that the Church is taxed differently.  

 

Tax exemption applies to two things off the top of my head: property taxes and items that are directly related to church activities ie, items purchased by a ward, stake. 

 

So I'm trying to figure out what kind of federal taxes a church pays. I can't really think of any but I'm no tax expert.  I can only think of taxes that are paid to states and each one treats churches differently in their tax laws.

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I make payments for a Church entity  in Idaho. We pay taxes.   When registering a church vehicle we pay sales tax on that vehicle. When we buy we pay sales tax on everything that is normally taxed in idaho.  I know in Utah that the Church is taxed differently.  

 

Tax exemption applies to two things off the top of my head: property taxes and items that are directly related to church activities ie, items purchased by a ward, stake. 

 

So I'm trying to figure out what kind of federal taxes a church pays. I can't really think of any but I'm no tax expert.  I can only think of taxes that are paid to states and each one treats churches differently in their tax laws.

 

Yes churches are subject to state sales and use taxes but no taxes on income  or property tax on property used in worship and charitable activities. 

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Really? Are we not capable as a country from differentiating between an honestly held belief that homosexuality is a sin and the worship of a flying spaghetti monster, food or at a brothel?

 

Far greater minds than mine have struggled with that idea. Does the majority, or significant plurality ever get to determine what a minor religion can believe?

 

Do the Unitarians have to give up their beliefs about homosexuality in order to be classified as a honestly held belief? Does Hobby Lobby get to decide if your honestly held beliefs qualify? How about a Buddhist, do you get to decide they must believe in a personal God to have a deeply held belief? How about Jews/Muslims, they don't believe Jesus was the Savior, do they get have their religions classified a deeply held beliefs? As you should be able to tell the list of deeply held beliefs is endless. So again who gets to decide?

 

There are no absolute rights in the US Constitution. However as a general rule you have the right to believe anything you want, as long as you don't try to force your beliefs on others. IE; In Nepal there were few if any building codes. With this latest earthquake killing up to 10,000 people. I think that building codes, a type of tax applicable to churches, should be used to help protect the lives of others.

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What was the test used in Bob Jones?

What test was used in Employment Division v Smith?

How did Congress react after employment division v smith?

What was the test used in Hobby Lobby?

What is the test created by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?

As you look up those cases you discover that Lemon is not "one [test] to rule them all".

 

The Establishment Clause Test (the Lemon Test) trumps them all. That is legal fact.

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lvjd66 statements about taxation and relgious freedom are not supported by case law. Tax exempt status is not an unfettered right; the Bob Jones case settled that.

What needs to done is to justify tax exempt status even though a tax exempt org may have policies that are not fully supported by the general public

 

The Bob Jones case violates the Constitution.

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I'm just glad our government is too smart to legislate sexual morality (including marriage) and will kindly step on the heads of those who would like such legislation to take place. I remember that silly and juvenile Federal Marriage Amendment under the Bush administration and all the ignoramuses who supported it. Glad to see we are growing up.

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Yes churches are subject to state sales and use taxes but no taxes on income  or property tax on property used in worship and charitable activities. 

 

So churches are not really tax exempt, they are just exempt from some taxes. 

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What does tax exempt status have to do with religious freedom? 

I see, because this does not affect you directly you are unable to see the issues with it. IOW you think you know what you are talking about.

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I've been taxed for two decades now. I remain undestroyed.   :)

Case in point.

 

You should try to start a religion and see how you can operate if your taxed. I wager that your ability to operate your church would dwindle to the point that it disappears.

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CFR

So you are denying that not being for ssm would never be used as a way to get regions and other organizations taxed? Because I swear you said so your self that this would never happen. That we would always have freedom of religion?

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The Establishment Clause Test (the Lemon Test) trumps them all. That is legal fact.

CFR.

and while are at it, please prove that stare decisis is absoluting binding on the Supreme Court.

It is telling that you ignore the various legal standards.

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CFR.

and while are at it, please prove that stare decisis is absoluting binding on the Supreme Court.

It is telling that you ignore the various legal standards.

 

I am getting right on that CFR.

 

But first, let's go over some very basic legal principals (now I am being condescending):

 

First: I never once claimed that stare decisis is binding on the Court. In fact, I have said the exact opposite. I said I think the Court should overturn Bob Jones because it is terrible law. While we are at it, I think the Court should over turn a lot of bad law. So where you get off claiming that I think stare decisis is binding is beyond me. Like you, however, I have to use the current law to make my legal points. So when you asked for the test for the Establishment Clause, I provided it. And then you respond with this whole stare decisis nonsense. In other words I satisfied your request for the test, the test makes it pretty clear that under current law such a tax would violate the Establishment Clause, and your response is "well that test is not binding on the Court." 

 

Well neither is Bob Jones. 

 

Second, congress does not have authority to trump the Establishment Clause (ie, the Constitution) with legislation. They can't simply write an act, say the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that applies a test to try and get around the Establishment Clause. That would be beyond their constitutional powers. Law 101: State Law<federal statutes<the Constitution.

 

Third, let's examine the cases you mentioned above. And see what tests they used: 

 

-If you wanna know why the Bob Jones case is such bad law, its because they didn't even address the Establishment Clause. They basically said its not a violation of the Establishment Clause because we said so. My guess is they knew it would survive the Lemon Test and they didn't want to be the judges who decided the racist university could not be coerced to not being bigoted. It was an unconstitutional ruling. No one had/has the guts to say it, because you will likely be labeled a racist.

 

-Employment Division v. Smith did not rely on the Establishment Clause, because it was not an Establishment Law case. It was a free exercise case, which uses a different, but equally powerful test. Like Bob Jones, the case was wrongly decided. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion of the Court. If there is a Justice who is wrong more often than Brennan, it is Scalia. So the Lemon Test would not have come up.

 

-Hobby Lobby: Another Free Exercise Clause case. Establishment Clause test wouldn't come up. As a rule, the plaintiff would have to be an Faith based institution to have an Establishment Clause argument. Hobby Lobby (and Smith from above) was not. It is closely held company. Fortunately, this case was decided correctly.

 

There is no doubt that there are other tests that the Court will use when decided issues that stretch the spectrum of religious liberty issues. The Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause are two totally separate tests and will be used in different circumstances. Free Exercise is more likely to come up when an individual feels like they are being deprived of a right because of religious conviction (peyote or opposition to providing contraception (side note, isn't it ironic that Scalia didn't like free exercised when it involved a drug, but was all for it when it involved contraception...this is why he is a terrible justice)). The Establishment Clause cases are those involving a religious group (LDS Church, probably BYU, Notre Dame, etc.) that files a court case when they are being punished or mistreated because of their beliefs. 

 

It is entirely possible for a case to involve both a Free Exercise claim and an Establishment Clause claim. If the LDS Church ever lost its tax exempt status, for example, I am sure it would file a case claiming a violation of both. But for a law to be legal it cannot violate either one of those constitutional clauses. Bob Jones ignored the Plaintiff's Establishment Clause. The Court didn't even both to run the Lemon Test. That is such bad jurisprudence, it isn't even funny. I read the case, and I still can't understand how they came to the conclusion they did. But it is not likely to be overturned anytime soon because no one wants to go down as the judge who overturned the case that shutdown the bigoted university.

 

Quite frankly, I am kinda surprised you even CFR'd my claim that a law has to comply with the Constitution. I thought that would be common sense. And make no mistake the Lemon Test is currently THE test for the Establishment Clause.

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CFR.

and while are at it, please prove that stare decisis is absoluting binding on the Supreme Court.

It is telling that you ignore the various legal standards.

 

Another note on stare decisis if I may.

 

It is very funny and ironic (and not saying this applies to you necessarily) how people want stare decisis applied. Read enough Supreme Court cases and you will find that the Supreme Court ideolouges will each use it very hypocritically. Brennan and Scalia used it as a weapon against each other all the time when they were bickering with each other. 

 

If there was a case that threatened to overturn Roe v. Wade and other abortion jurisprudence you know the liberals would all be screaming: BUT STARE DECISIS! Yet, if Hobby Lobby were threatened to be overturned they would ignore conservatives pleas of STARE DECISIS! (conservatives would be just as guilty).

 

I am a fan of stare decisis when the right legal decision was made the first time. Bob Jones is not one of those times.

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So churches are not really tax exempt, they are just exempt from some taxes. 

The big thing is the tax deductions for charitable donations.  If that were revoked donations to churches and charities would drop considerably. 

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What does tax exempt status have to do with religious freedom? 

 

What does tax policy have to do with businesses and business decisions?  If you can not answer that then you will be incapable of understanding.

 

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Would we all agree that it would be a violation of the Establishment Clause to tax a Muslim University in Dearborn Michigan because congress decided only Christians Universities could qualify for tax exempt status?

 

I think that is a hard YES.

 

Why would it not be a violation of the Establishment Clause to tax a faith-based University for maintaining a belief and practice they have held for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?

 

There is no difference in the effect of these two examples. None. The only difference is what an individual values most: religious liberty or gay rights. 

 

That's it. Because of the current status of case law, I don't think we can have both.

There is a significant difference and its established in case law all the way to the Supreme Court. In the first case, a particular religion is being targeted. In the second let's look at Bob Jones. Let's say congress passes a non discrimination law. Looks suppose further that congress has demonstrated a significant state interest behind said law. Because this law was passed to further a justified state interest and did not target any particular religious university, it is allowed.

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The blog that started this furor looks like grandstanding. It went around the web because it appealed to people's fears not because it is well reasoned.

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There is a significant difference and its established in case law all the way to the Supreme Court. In the first case, a particular religion is being targeted. In the second let's look at Bob Jones. Let's say congress passes a non discrimination law. Looks suppose further that congress has demonstrated a significant state interest behind said law. Because this law was passed to further a justified state interest and did not target any particular religious university, it is allowed.

 

IF the only legal test were the Free Exercise Clause you would be right. Since the Establishment Clause also applies, you are wrong.

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The big thing is the tax deductions for charitable donations.  If that were revoked donations to churches and charities would drop considerably. 

 

Yes, and that is significant for high dollar donors. For someone like me I never get passed the point of the standard deduction so for me the point is moot. I'm thinking that may be the case for most regular run of the mill church members?  Or maybe I don't understand my own taxes.

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Yes, and that is significant for high dollar donors. For someone like me I never get passed the point of the standard deduction so for me the point is moot. I'm thinking that may be the case for most regular run of the mill church members?  Or maybe I don't understand my own taxes.

 

Chances are if you are paying a mortgage you would move past the standard deduction.

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There is a significant difference and its established in case law all the way to the Supreme Court. In the first case, a particular religion is being targeted. In the second let's look at Bob Jones. Let's say congress passes a non discrimination law. Looks suppose further that congress has demonstrated a significant state interest behind said law. Because this law was passed to further a justified state interest and did not target any particular religious university, it is allowed.

 

Additionally, the problem with Bob Jones (again the famous law school quote: BAD FACTS (Bob Jones) make BAD LAW (Bob Jones)) is that they didn't even deal with the Establishment Clause. Why they didn't is puzzling to me. It makes no sense. They basically brushed it aside, most likely because they knew if they didn't they would have to rule in favor of a bigoted university. 

 

And go down in history as another Henry Brown....

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Yes, and that is significant for high dollar donors. For someone like me I never get passed the point of the standard deduction so for me the point is moot. I'm thinking that may be the case for most regular run of the mill church members?  Or maybe I don't understand my own taxes.

 

If you have a significant mortgage payment and donate 10% or more it should have an effect.  Also add in some very significant medical bills and it would certainly make a difference.

 

If charitable deduction tax benefits were discontinued the big big donations to all churches and charities would shrink significantly. 

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If you have a significant mortgage payment and donate 10% or more it should have an effect.  Also add in some very significant medical bills and it would certainly make a difference.

 

If charitable deduction tax benefits were discontinued the big big donations to all churches and charities would shrink significantly. 

 

And they know it. For those of us that would still make donations, it would also mean a whole lot more money to the government. 

 

They know that too.

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